Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor
- Respond directly to a recent article, editorial, letter, or local event. Be sure to reference the publication date and title of the article.
- Focus on a single issue.
- Keep it brief. Stick to the publication’s word limit, usually 250 max, often less.
- Use verified facts.
- Start with a strong opening statement that establishes your position.
- Use plain language and personal stories.
- Look at other recently published letters to get an idea of what the publication looks for when deciding what to print.
- Resort to insults, loaded language, exaggeration, or name-calling. It can damage your credibility.
- Use insider jargon or acronyms regular readers are unlikely to know.
- Use ALL CAPS or bold to emphasize your points.
- Send your letter as an attachment. Many publications won’t open attachments.
- Submit your letter to multiple publications at a time. Most want exclusive content.